Keeping your head cool could help you sleep better.
Are you kept awake on hot, summer nights? There’s a simple cure – keep a cool head! Insomnia is associated with increased metabolism in the brain’s frontal cortex, and the metabolism can be reduced by literally cooling that part of the brain, via regional cerebral hypothermia, according to research from the Sleep Neuroimaging Research Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
A study was conducted in which 12 subjects with primary insomnia received frontal cerebral thermal transfer (cooling of the brain) using a special cap containing tubes that were filled with circulating water at precisely controlled temperatures. The results were that the insomniacs were able to fall asleep in 13 minutes on average, compared to 16 minutes for a 12 subject control group of non-insomniacs. Moreover, the insomnia subjects stayed asleep for 89 percent of the time in bed, which was just as long as the control group.
Because of the significance of the research and the safe, non-invasive method of treatment, the scientists hope to bring a version of the “insomnia cap” to the market for consumers.
Photo credit: Soda Head